Tournament Rules

Rugby 9s is a version of rugby league played with 9 players on each side.

The international laws of rugby league are deemed to apply in this tournament, with the following rule modifications specific to the Waikiki9s:

  • Participants and all those entering the festival site are to be responsible for their own personal property and their own valuables at all times
  • Each team Captain is responsible for the behaviour of their own team members and officials
  • All individuals are expected to uphold the values of rugby – TEAMWORK, RESPECT, ENJOYMENT, DISCIPLINE, and SPORTSMANSHIP. Failure to do so may result in a team or individual being disqualified from the Tournament
  • By entering the Waikiki9s Tournament, all individuals will be deemed to have agreed that the Waikiki9s and its organisers will not be liable for any loss, injury or damage howsoever caused to the participants, officials or spectators of participating teams save for death or personal injury caused by the negligence of the organisers, their servants or agents
  • The Waikiki9s: Tournament will be conducted entirely under the control of the Waikiki9s: Tournament officers, whose decisions on all matters will be final
  • Each match lasts 15 minutes, with no half time period
  • No extra time will be played if scores are equal at the end of a pool match
  • The referee will call ‘Last Play’ to signify the end of the game and play will cease when the ball is next out of play or a tackle is made successfully at which point the referee will blow his whistle to conclude the game
  • Players will ‘play the ball’ (PTB) after each tackle
  • No 40/20 kick-rule applies
  • One marker player must be in position from the defending team opposite the PTB after each tackle
  • The total number of players on the field at any one time in each team shall not exceed 9
  • Each team entry must nominate a squad comprising of no more than 15 players for the tournament
  • Each team must individually name all players on the match day registration form
  • All players must be aged 18 years old or older, on the day of the tournament
  • Any team found to have played an ineligible player will be disqualified from the Tournament (as this impacts the insurance cover)
  • Players can make unlimited interchanges throughout the game, ensuring the retiring player has left the field before a new player enters. Subject to a fair use policy in the spirit of the game
  • A player is only permitted to play for another team with the express permission of the tournament manager
  • In the event of a clash of colours, the second named team will be required to change
  • A player who is sent off during a match may not participate in any further matches for the duration of the Tournament
  • Any refereeing decisions made during game play are final
  • Each team must provide their own first aid kit for the treatment of blood injuries
  • A player who has an open or bleeding wound must leave the playing area. The player must not return until the bleeding is controlled and the wound has been covered, to the satisfaction of the referee
  • If a referee suspects a possible concussion, the player will need to be assessed by an independent doctor before playing again*. In the interests of the player’s own safety the referee’s decision about removal from play for assessment is final.
  • All jewellery and body worn piercings to be removed whilst playing
  • When an infringement occurs that would result in a scrum, i.e. a knock on or forward pass, play will be restarted with a 3-man scrum at the point of the infringement, with the feed to the scrum being awarded to the non-offending team
  • The defending halfback must not move from his defensive position i.e. within touching distance and behind his last row of forwards until such time as the attacking halfback has passed the ball or attempted to run with the ball
  • Scrums are uncontested
  • If the ball enters touch, play is restarted with a play-the-ball, to the non-offending team, 20 metres in field from where the ball entered touch.  If a defending player touches the ball before it crosses the touchline and is deemed by the referee not to have played at the ball, the defending team will restart play with a PTB 20m in field form where the ball enters touch.
  • When a team is awarded a penalty then play must proceed from where the infringement took place by way of a tap and go penalty. Defending teams must retire 10m
  • No kick for touch or goal is permitted from a penalty
  • 4 points for a try
  • 2 points for a drop-kick conversion following a try
  • 1 point for a field goal in general play
  • Conversions are OPTIONAL following the scoring of a try. The scoring team can choose to take a conversion, or continue with the game
  • A Conversion must be taken from in the field-of-play, in the form of a drop kick, in line with where the try was scored
  • Once the Referee is back in position after the awarding of a try, he will signal to the scoring team, who will then have a maximum period of 30 seconds to complete the conversion
  • A conversion will be deemed to have been completed when the kicker’s foot has struck the ball
  • Failure to complete the conversion in the allocated time will mean the loss of the opportunity. The game will be restarted from the centre circle
  • Players from the team that have conceded the try do not have to retire behind the try line but must not interfere with any conversion attempt
  • All kick offs to re-start play, other than for the start of each half, shall be taken by way of drop-kick which must travel at least 10 metres in a forward direction and land in the field of play
  • The kick off for the start of the game and for the 2nd half will be by means of a place kick
  • If the ball does not reach the 10‐metre line and is not played at by an opponent, a free tap is awarded to the non-offending team at the centre of the half way line
  • The ball must land in the field of play. If it is kicked directly into touch, a free tap is awarded to the non-offending team at the centre of the halfway line.
  • All ‘Drop Kick Off’ re-starts shall be taken by the scoring team
  • Where the defending team is required to recommence play with a Goal Line or 20 metre Drop Out, they must do so within 20 seconds, so as not to unnecessarily delay play. This time period will commence once the referee is back in position and signals.
  • Failure to recommence play in the allocated 20 seconds will result in a handover to the opposing team, adjudicated by the referee
  • 3 minutes or, in the event that a match is completed within this period, the period of temporary suspension shall be until the completion of the match
  • The 3 minutes commences from when the player leaves the field of play
  • A team in possession of the football shall be allowed FIVE successive play- the-balls
    A handover shall occur after the fifth play-the-ball when the team is
    (a) tackled for the sixth time, or
    (b) they commit a foul, or
    (c) in the event that a player is held up in-goal.
  • In the event of a knock-out match/ Final ending with the scores equal after regular time, extra time is played with a ‘Golden Score’ process to determine the winner of the match
  • There will be a 1 minute break following the end of regular time, after which Extra Time will commence
  • Extra Time will consist of one period of up to 5 minutes
  • Full Time shall be called immediately after a ‘Golden Score’ has been awarded
  • The winning ‘Golden Score’ can take the form of a try or field goal
  • If, after Extra Time, the scores are still level, the team who has scored the most tries so far in the competition, will progress as winners
  • Each team will play every other team in the same pool once, with points awarded: Win = 3 points; Draw = 1 point; Loss = 0 points
  • Final placing within each pool will be determined as follows:
  1. The team gaining the highest number of pool points will be placed first, and the other teams placed in descending order according to the pool points gained
  2. If two or more teams have gained equal pool points, they will be placed according to the greater number of points difference
  3. If two or more teams have scored equal points difference, they will be placed according to the greater number of points scored
  • If a team is unable to fulfil a pool fixture, or is unable to field a side of 9 players, at the required start time of the pool game, they will forfeit the game and the opposition will be awarded a 3 point win and a nominal 16-0 scoreline for the forfeited game
  • If a team withdraws from the Tournament or is, for any reason, disqualified from further participation before completion of the pool stage, the placing’s for that pool will be calculated as though that team had not participated in the pool.